WCM-Q scientist gets US award
May 07 2018 10:19 PM
Dr Khaled Machaca (second left) after receiving the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award from Emo
Dr Khaled Machaca (second left) after receiving the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award from Emory University’s Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences.


A leading scientist at Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar (WCM-Q) is being presented with the 2018 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award from his alma mater in the US.

The significant contributions of Dr Khaled Machaca, associate dean of research at WCM-Q and professor of physiology and biophysics, to the scientific world have now been formally recognised by Emory University’s Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (GDBBS).

He was invited to deliver a seminar at Emory. The lecture, entitled ‘Of Chicken, Worms, Frogs, Mice and Humans, Searching for the Spark of Life’, summarised Dr Machaca’s scientific and professional journey.

“It is a great honour and privilege to have my career recognised by my alma mater. This award was particularly special because my daughter Raya is currently a student at Emory," he said.

“Science and research are vital to the acquisition of knowledge and the development of better healthcare – particularly personalised healthcare – and it is very gratifying to be working in a country like Qatar, which places such importance on knowledge and scientific research.”    

Dr Machaca was awarded his PhD in cell and developmental biology from Emory University’s Laney Graduate School in Georgia in the US in 1996.

Since then, Dr Machaca has had an internationally renowned career as a researcher in the fields of calcium signalling and gamete maturation, publishing multiple high-impact scientific articles in leading journals. He joined WCM-Q in 2007 and was appointed associate dean of research the following year.

Dr Machaca oversaw the establishment and growth of the research programme at WCM-Q over the past decade. This included the recruitment of 16 faculty members to join the programme, the implementation of the operational and regulatory infrastructure for research at WCM-Q, and the establishment of state-of-the-art core facility that currently service WCM-Q faculty and other stakeholders nationally. The research programme has been successful and has established itself at one of the premier biomedical programmes regionally by garnering significant extramural funding in excess of $100 million, publishing more than 800 papers which have received over 16,000 citations to date.

At WCM-Q, Dr Machaca is leading efforts to research diseases and conditions prevalent to Qatar and the Mena region, like diabetes and obesity, with the goal of contributing to the discovery and development of new therapies.

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